Project #5718

"Giving Children Wings to their Dreams"

by Dream A Dream
Prayerful beginnings for a powerful session :-)
Prayerful beginnings for a powerful session :-)

We have kick started our core programmes for this year and there is excitement all around; and it is raining highlights.  Special thanks to each one of you for being a tremendous support in helping us continue to empower and transform lives of young people from vulnerable backgrounds.

With this update we would want to share with you story of Shekar (name changed), who is part of Dream Life Skills through Sports Program.

Meet Shekar, a 16-year-old, who has been part of our Life skills through Football Programme since last 2 years.  His father is a driver and his mother works as a domestic help.  His hobbies include playing football and listening to music.

The Challenge:  Shekar was very shy in the beginning, not speaking with anyone. His parents are very supportive of him and want him to get involved in activities at school but he has never been able to. During the first few sessions at the Life Skills through Football programme, Shekar would never try new skills when the facilitator asked him to. Shekar explained that he was too afraid to make a mistake because he thought people would laugh at him. He narrated an incident from his life about when he was in the 8th grade, he was called on to answer a question, which he got wrong, and the entire class laughed at him. From that day onwards, he does his work properly on paper but is too afraid to speak in front of other students.

In one session, a volunteer came to join the young people. The volunteer noticed Shekar’s shy behaviour and proceeded to support him during the match. The volunteer told him how good he was in the match in terms of his efforts and scoring a goal. Shekar had never been acknowledged like that and it gave him a bit of confidence. The volunteer told him his own personal story about how he used to be shy but as he grew older, he began to learn more and obtain more skills to become an engineer. The volunteer explained that everyone goes through times of doubt and he shouldn’t be discouraged by his peers.

After this interaction with the volunteer, the facilitator noticed Shekar communicating and participating more actively during sessions.

The Change:  Once, when the facilitator was revisiting the team agreements (agreements are made by children themselves with the help of facilitator before start of the session every year which they follow during the sessions such as; being on time, no using bad language, etc. ), Shekar was first to raise his hand to explain the agreements. During the warm ups, Shekar started speaking and participating actively. The facilitator asked them to run five rounds around the grounds and Shekar raised his hand to suggest six rounds instead. His friends who lived near the grounds also participated in the sessions but did not attend regularly. Shekar decided to collect them before the sessions to ensure their attendance for that day’s session. Since he realized the importance of teamwork, Shekar would gather his friends to make sure everyone was accountable and part of the team.

When the facilitator spoke with Shekar’s teacher, she told him that he has started participating in school activities. He recently participated in a quiz competition and made it to the semi-finals. His teacher praised him for his academic efforts. Shekar’s parents are very happy that he has started taking an active part and has realized that he can achieve his goals. He discovered that he has the academic and extracurricular abilities and felt a renewed sense of confidence.

The Dream Power:  Shekar confidently shares, “I like the activities including the fun games and playing as a team. I want to continue this programme next year in the tenth standard. I have the confidence to take part in all of the activities in the programme. My dream is to be a football player.”

Dream Life Skills programme is aimed to help young men like Shekar find their inner strength and confidence through powerful experiences, consistent messaging and role-modelling.

Organization and Programme Updates and Highlights (April 2013 – July 2013):

  1. 2016 young people are enrolled in our life skills programmes – 847 in Life skills through football and 1169 in Life skills through Arts.
  2. 32 Life Skills facilitators are trained to deliver the curriculum based life skill sessions to help deepen the impact of the programs.
  3. 70 young people and 15 volunteers were part of 2 Outdoor Experiential Camps for this year.
  4. 336 young adults were benefited through our Life Skills for Career Development training at our Dream Connect Centre, which offers the tools and foundational life skills necessary for career development.  Teaching them Basic computer skills, English speaking, workplace readiness, career guidance, and career talks.  83% of them completed the course.  We are also happy to share with you that one of our young adult have successfully completed his training at Barathi Walmart and now works with Life Style.
  5. 19 volunteers were trained to be Mentors and 12 have been matched with their mentee’s already.
  6. 90 volunteers have been engaged clocking over 3165 volunteers hours.
  7. Teacher Development Workshop was delivered to 58 teachers from 2 of our partner schools with focus on Life Skills Facilitation.  The programme aims to train teachers and community workers to facilitate the development of Life Skills amongst young people in their own schools and regions. The workshops in particular are focused on enabling adults to deepen the understanding of self and young people.  A teacher says "I have learnt to listen to others and respect what they have to say" and going forward when I am teaching "I would guide the child rather than preach or force them to follow right path by giving them options."
  8. Vishal Talreja, Co-founder and Executive Director of Dream A Dream was on a 2-month learning and inspirational journey through the Eisenhower Fellowship programme, U.S.  Know more about his trip; visit his facebook page- Dreamer on the Go - Vishal Talreja 
  9. Suchetha Bhat, COO and Bopanna Pattada, Lead Trainer from Dream A Dream are learning, sharing and Co-creating the Creative Community Model at the first ever global gathering of Social Artists and Facilitators hosted by our partners PYE Global - Partnership for Youth Empowerment at Whidbey Island, United States of America. They will also be co-facilitating and volunteering at a youth camp hosted by PYE. We are proud to be partners with PYE and look forward to excellent learnings coming back to us as we deepen our own Teacher Development & Life Skills Model.
  10. Dream A Dream has been shortlisted in top 12 NGOs (medium category) in the India NGO Award 2013 and assessment process is to happen shortly to decide the winner.

We look forward to your continued support and enduring relationship!

Thank You!!

Deep reflections after an activity at a Camp
Deep reflections after an activity at a Camp
All set to strike a goal
All set to strike a goal

"The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die."  ~ Edward Kennedy 

As we continue to create a vibrant, positive and healthy future for our young people, by nurturing and nourishing them to “not give up hope,” and believe in their dreams, your support has been critical to make it happen.  Thank you for your continued support to help us in our endeavour to empower and transform the lives of young people from vulnerable backgrounds.

We have had an absolutely fantastic year and we write to you today to engage you in the celebration of everything that we have achieved over the last year.

What better way to celebrate than to celebrate the achievements of the young people who give purpose to our lives.  One such celebration is of Janardhan (name changed) An 11 year old who has been an active participant in our Life Skills through Arts programme for 2 years now.

The Challenge:  He comes from a broken, abusive and violent background which has made him very aggressive and short-tempered.   He was very naughty; hitting, biting, irritating others, tearing paper, and walking away from the class.  No one would sit with him.  He would tear his drawing sheets because he felt he was not good enough.   He would use foul language, wear dirty clothes to school, and would not wear his shoes;  instead he held them in his hand.  One day, the facilitator asked Janardhan about his problems and he explained to her all his pain.  He shared how his mother is very abusive, beats him, and will not let him wear his shoes because they will get dirty. The facilitator requested his classmates to assist him and many of them started to do so.

The Change:  When it was observed by the facilitator that he was not participating, she asked what had happened and he replied, “Mam, I don’t know how to draw.”  Janardhan was then asked to draw whatever he feels like.  He then asked his facilitator if he can copy a drawing from a book and she approved.  Then after a few minutes, he finally drew something and the facilitator praised him for participating and showed the entire group.

After receiving praise from the facilitator and some of his classmates that day, he stopped tearing and crushing his drawing sheets.

The Dream Power:  More recently, when the facilitator has asked the classmates about Janardhan, they gave very positive feedback. “Mam, he has become silent. Sometimes he is aggressive but because other children tell him to do bad things, tell lies about him and complain to the teacher. The teacher still punishes him. He still gets angry with other boys but it is no longer his fault. He has become a good boy now.” Some of his classmates even share their lunch with him.

Over the years, we have seen Janardhan transform into a less aggressive and more supportive participant.

The facilitator stood rock-solid through this violent behaviour in sessions; all the time noticing and validating his positive behaviour.  He has now learnt to draw without worrying about being laughed at, to attend sessions regularly, even negotiating with his mother amongst other demands, has started showing healthy habits of being clean for the sessions and throwing litter in a garbage bin and as per his peers, he is less of a bully now.

All small but extremely significant changes that will help Janardhan learn to trust himself and people around him and hopefully make healthy choices in life.  For us at Dream A Dream, these subtle changes mean a life time of healthy choices.

Organizational Highlights

  • Over 31,000 young people directly and indirectly impacted in the year.
  • Started the year with inviting two remarkable people onto the Board of Trustees of Dream A Dream – Sandeep Farias and Meera Harish. You can read more about them at In addition, Vishal Talreja, our current Executive Director also joined the Board while continuing in his current role.
  • Raised and got commitments for Rs. 2.7 Crore (USD 540,000) from our hugely committed network of donors which include individuals, corporates and foundations.
  • Participated in the Sony European Graduate Programme Enterprise Project through StreetFootballworld. As part of this project 5 of SONY’s Graduate Students supported Dream A Dream with establishing a strategic partnership with a sports based club, association or company to further Dream A Dream’s scale plans.
  • Ms.  Suchetha Bhat, COO was featured in the local newspaper, Bangalore Mirror, where she talks about our Dream Mentoring Programme.  Please follow the link below to read the article
  • Other media coverage of Dream A Dream through the year at
  • Awarded as 3rd highest fundraising NGO at the TCS World 10K Bangalore held in May 2012
  • Received Silver Trophy at the Global Sports Forum, Barcelona for our work in the arena of Sports 4 Development
  • A committed team of 50 staff members helped us achieve our targets.

Programme Highlights

  • 3050 young people actively engaged in our core life skills programmes – 1663 in Life skills through Sports and 1387 in Life skills through Creative Arts.
  • For every 2 boys there is 1 girl participating in the Programmes - with more boys participating in the Life Skills through Sports programme and more girls in the Life Skills through Arts programme.
  • Over 117 batches are run across 18 locations in Bangalore, engaging 25-30 young people per batch in the core Life Skills programmes
  • 24 Life Skills facilitators trained to deliver the curriculum based sessions; 86% of the sessions conducted are consistent across facilitators and over 90% met quality expectations in the delivery of programmes.
  • A healthy average attendance of 81.3% across programmes
  • Implementing new session delivery model –
    • 9 month intervention
    • 30-35 sessions per batch
    • 2 hours per session once a week
    • 20 curriculum based and 10-15 unstructured sessions
  • 10 Outdoor Experiential Camps completed engaging over 367 young people.
  • 948 young people actively engaged.  488 girls and 460 boys engaged with 83% average attendance in skills for Career Development such as Computer education, Spoken English, Outdoor Experiential Camps, Mentoring, Career guidance courses.
  • 65 young people have access to a volunteer mentor.  103 volunteer mentors have been trained in the year.
  • 1271 volunteers have been engaged clocking over 19,767 volunteers hours.  Dream A Dream is amongst 10 organizations short-listed from across India for its Volunteer Engagement Programme by IVolunteer India.
  • Over 27000 young people indirectly impacted through 276 Teachers/youth workers/facilitators through 2-day Life Skill Facilitation workshops.
  • Geographic spread of Partnerships and Trainings - Built partnerships with two organizations running programmes outside Bangalore – Mumbai and Rural Karnataka. Additionally, have successfully developed partnerships with schools in Bangalore, where other Dream A Dream Life Skills programmes are delivered.
  • Strategic Support received from Marshall Foundation, Oberoi Family Foundation and through a fundraising evening hosted by Ian and Victoria Watson in London jointly with Partners for Youth Empowerment (PYE). 

Once again, Thank You for your continuous support and we look forward to building a long lasting relationship with you to realize many more "Dreams"

Our future Stars!!
Our future Stars!!
Volunteers at 1st day of Mentoring training
Volunteers at 1st day of Mentoring training

As we usher the New Year with lots of excitement and Dreams, we appreciate your sincere support that has helped us in motivating many young people over  the years. This milestone was only possible with your belief in our work.

We offer our thanks and wish you peace and joy throughout the New Year.

To start the year with happiness and hope, we would like to share this story from this year’s program. 

Meet Gowri  (name changed) from our Life Skills Through Creative Arts Programme:  Story as narrated by our facilitator. 7th standard, Stella Mary’s School, one of our partner schools.

Gowri has been in our Life Skills Through Football Programme since last year and this academic year she opted to be part of our Life Skills through Creative Arts.

Gowri’s father is a policeman, she is very proud of him and her mother is a housewife.    When Gowri started attending our life skill programme this year she was negligent in the sessions during the first month, she would only get along with close group of 3 to 4 friends and would not participate fully in the session or interact with facilitator.

Changes after being in our Programme:

After a few weeks, she started to enjoy the sessions.  She started to ask questions and take leadership.  This change in her was evident in one reflection circle, a time where young children discuss and share about how they felt being part of the activity in the day’s session and reflect on their thoughts, very few students were participating; then she said – “lets all talk, lets share our feelings so that we can also learn from your experiences as well, so come up and speak”.  She also started to help others who needed help with understanding. 

In her words: “Dream life skill showed me a new life; I learned that we should not be selfish and partial to others. I understood what is my real life, dream life skills have made me realize what is my real life. I learned good habits, good discipline and good manners, how to respect the others. Now, I really understand my goals and aims, etc. I understand my friends habits, hobbies, character, likes, dislikes ,etc. the sessions taught me how to face challenges. I had a lot of stage fear earlier, now after coming to Dream life skills programs, I have no stage fear; I can speak anywhere. Earlier, I used to shiver with fear when any teacher asked me any question. I used to get tense about thinking whether my answer will be right or wrong. But now I am in a position to answer to any questions asked by the teachers without any fear. I visited my relative’s house in the Dasara holidays, where all relatives planned to make a game. I took the leadership of one group in that game and we won the game at the end. Everyone started praising me. I felt overwhelmed! Everyone asked how I became so active as opposite to my earlier nature of being a silent girl. I told them its due to dream life skills. Not only at my relative circle, but in classes and at house also, I am mingling with others with ease, and I make a lot of friends now.”

 “I want to become a fashion designer in my life; else I will become a doctor.”


Organization and Programme Updates (November 2012 – January 2012):

  1. We continue to deliver our core life skills programmes –114 batches are run across 18 locations in Bangalore - 51 batches in Life skill through Arts and 63 batches in Life skill through Football.  Young people from our football program participated in SPT tournament and the team won 4-0 there.
  2. Two Outdoor Experiential Camps were conducted engaging 80 children.
  3. 154 young people were benefited from Life Skills for Career Development training at our Dream Connect Center, which offers the tools and foundational life skills necessary for career development.  We are also happy to share with you that Girish, one of our graduate and employee, has been selected to be part of 1 year course in US through community college initiative conducted by the US consulate.
  4. A 2-day training session was organized with Play for Peace to train our Life skill facilitators and lead facilitators with different ways and mediums like puppet making to interact with young people to make sessions more effective.
  5. Dreamers Unlimited – A volunteer evening was organized to get the volunteers to interact and appreciate their time and efforts.   Everyone left inspired to do more to give back to the community.  Read more about the evening in this blog post
  6. 50 excited volunteers have signed up to attend the second cycle of our mentor training which started on 13th January and 4 volunteers have signed up to become mentor trainers and the training started on 16th January.
  7. Unlock 10K smiles – A fundraising campaign was launched on Jan 1st with the intention to make 2013 - A year of happiness.  We urge you to make a small contribution and unlock smiles.

We look forward to your continued support and enduring relationship!

P.S. - Both links attached below

  1. Dream A Dream’s 10K Smiles campaign was featured in the Hindu. Check out the article through the attached link
  2. To unlock smiles click on the link below.  

Thank You!!

Volunteers bonding through celebration
Volunteers bonding through celebration
Snapshot from Gowri
Snapshot from Gowri's Creative Arts session


Fun in Learning
Fun in Learning

Its rightly said “The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for” ~  Allan K. Chalmers

Thank You for adding these Something’s to the life of many young people from vulnerable backgrounds through our (Dream A Dream's) Life Skill Programs by giving them hope for the best from their future and also by bringing in a caring adult into their life in the form of a life skill facilitator or a mentor.

One such Hope and Aspiration is of Raju's (name changed). 
Raju has been a part of our football program for the last two years.  He is currently studyig in 8th standard at our partner organization.  When he came into our program, he was not very interested. He used to do what the coach told him, but he was very lazy in all the activities and used foul language during the session.  With regular attendance to the sessions, he gradually started improving both his football skills and even in his behaviour.  He used to help the facilitator and soon started building strong relationships with the other members of the team. From then on, he was happy. He told the facilitator that he would listen to everyone and respect his elders. When asked, whether it was the program that had led to these changes? and if so, why had he changed. He said that the program had previously been focused on learning football skills but now the focus is on teaching life skills as a part of the curriculum.  He said that the team agreements helped him to make changes in his behaviour both inside and outside the game.  He started to take initiative during the games and behave responsibly during the sessions.  If he had any doubts, he would clarify them in the session itself and he often came out with some very powerful and relevant questions.  “I feel like I too have changed through my involvement in the program.  I learned better ways to behave with my elders and with younger children, responsibility, how to take initiative and most importantly, I learned how to be a leader and I’m really happy I learned this because it is a very good quality to have.  I have learned that I have to be a good soccer player and the importance of relationships, not only in soccer but also in my life outside of the game. The football program has made a lot of changes in my life and I know how to work hard to achieve a bright future for myself.”

He also quotes:  “I have never seen this kind of program and it makes me feel good. The first session is one of the most memorable days of my life.  I have been playing football since I was 10 and I used to play very selfishly.  Once I lost a game due to my selfishness and this made me realise that being selfish is very bad and you can’t score a goal if you behave like that.  After going to some sessions, I have become much more honest, my football skills are a lot better and there have even been changes in my life. Thank you Dream A Dream!”

Organization and Program Updates:

  1. We have now reached out to 3152 children enrolled in our core life skills programs – 1737 in Life skills Through Sports and 1415 in Life skills Through Arts.  Over 108 batches are run across 17 locations in Bangalore - 48 batches in Life skill through Arts and 60 batches in Life skill through Football. 
  2. Two of our young adults were selected for a 1-year Professional Dance Development Certificate Program which is a scholarship by Lourd Vijay Dance Studio.
  3. Four Outdoor Experiential Camps were conducted engaging 122 children and 23 volunteers. This is what one of our volunteer had to say after the camp “Still contemplating all the amazing things I have experienced this weekend... thanks Dream A Dream for giving me the opportunity to volunteer for one of your Outdoor Experiential Camps! Loved it!”
  4. 300 young adults successfully completed their Life Skills for Career Development training at our DreamConnect Center, which offers the tools and foundational life skills necessary for career development.
  5. 60 young adults attended our very first Alumni Meet at the DreamConnect center. It was overwhelming to see the excitement and enthusiasm that the youths had upon learning about the different educational/career opportunities available to them. Everyone walked home with a smile and hope in their heart.
  6. We have started our 6-week Facilitation training in partnership with PYE Global-Partnership with youth empowerment where 16 Lead Trainers are being trained and prepared to deliver trainings across the country.
  7. Mr. Vishal Talreja, our Cofounder and Executive Director represented Dream A Dream at the StreetFootballworld and Sony European Graduate Program which happened in Libson, Portugal. Dream A Dream is a network member with Streetfootballworld Network has been one of the two organizations selected for the SONY European Graduate Programme Enterprise Project. As part of this project 5 of SONY’s Graduate Students have been selected to support Dream A Dream with establishing a strategic partnership with a sports based club, association or company to further Dream A Dream’s scale plans. The graduates will be volunteering offline with Dream A Dream between September 2012 – January 2013 on this project as part of their leadership development.
  8. Ms. Suchetha Bhat, our Head-Strategy was featured in the local newspaper, Bangalore Mirror, where she talks about our Dream Mentoring program.  Please click on the link to read the article

All this has been possible only due to the undying commitment and support from donors like YOU, who have helped us, Dream A Dream, to continue to reach out to many more young people in helping them unleash their potential and take over the life’s challenges with confidence.

The energy and excitement says it all
The energy and excitement says it all

As we kick start the new academic year, at Dream A Dream we have 2650 excited children enrolled into our core Life Skill Programs delivered by 35 enthusiastic Life Skill facilitators across 13 different locations. 

Our sessions started with a promise for many dreams, aspirations, smiling faces and the eagerness to learn new things .This is validated by the quote from one of our volunteers who attended the Life Skills Thru Creative Arts Session. She says, "The smiles throughout this creative arts session were immutable. The Dream A Dream instructors led a lively and engaging session, encouraging the children to collaborate with each other on drawing projects and theatrical games and to express themselves with confidence. Everyone came together to create a constructive - and, above all, fun! - atmosphere."

One such aspiration was of Shankari’s to have a job and also to continue her education.  She attended spoken English, computers, and personality development sessions for a year at DreamConnect Center.  Shankari’s family often had no money to pay for their essentials.  As she lacked encouragement at home, she used to hesitate to interact with strangers.  After a few sessions with Dream A Dream’s personality development program, she is a changed person.   She talks confidently, and knows she can solve their family’s problems.  Now, she even saves money to support her parents.   She says, Now, instead of buying clothes unnecessarily, I save. When my mother did not have money for the gas cylinder, I paid. I had heard that lending money for interest is a good way of making money. Now that I know the risk, I am depositing money in a bank.”

After her PUC she started working with Youth Seva as a help-desk executive, and now, she has transited herself to work full time at Dream Connect Center, as a facilitator for community outreach (to inspire young adults to join Dream Connect Center), and is yet to enroll herself in an evening college to pursue her degree.

We at Dream A Dream are immensely proud of Shankari’s efforts and the confidence with which she takes over life’s challenges .  Young adults like her reinforce and strengthen our belief in continuing our work of providing Life Skills to young adults from vulnerable backgrounds. 

This could not have happened without the support of donors like YOU.  Our heartfelt appreciation to the support from each one of you who continue to encourage us in the work we do.  Thank You!!

Organization and Program Updates:

  • Completed our intensive 4-day training for 35 Life Skill Facilitators to help them effectively deliver our core Life Skill Programs.
  • Roll out of the New People Philosophy at Dream A Dream (a broad framework of basic values, principles and guidelines which are the foundation of people related processes and policies at Dream A Dream, used as a guide, and in spirit, to give direction and definition to the organization’s people policies).
  • Roll out of our new Life Skills thru Arts curriculum.  With brilliant support from Nadia of PYE (Partnership for Youth Empowerment) we have developed a completely new Life Skills thru Arts curriculum. This curriculum is new and fresh, involving various mediums of arts like poetry, theatre, music, painting etc. and has immense potential of being a very effective tool for self-reflection and learning.
  • Streamlining of database and processes for more effective child data management and assessment.
  • Manjunath, one of the graduates of the Dream Life Skills Program, currently working as a Senior Life Skills Facilitator represented Dream A Dream at the Dekeyser and Friends Sports Coaching Project with Jens Lehmann in Hamburg  .  (15 international Fellows were chosen around the world, who came to Hamburg for 10 weeks in mid-April 2012 to learn how they could use sports to engage and empower young people.  During the following ten-month period, they will install their own project at home supported by the D&F Academy).
  • 2650 children in the age group of 9-15 enrolled into our Life Skills Programs for the year in this quarter.  Over 78 batches are run across 13 locations in Bangalore, India, once a week, engaging 25-30 children per batch in core Life Skills programs.
  • 2770 volunteer hours were clocked even before we started our core life skill programs for this year.
  • 97 young adults successfully completed their Life Skills for Career Development training at our Dream Connect Center, which offers the tools and foundational life skills necessary for career development, in the month of June and July 2012.  We have enrolled 107 young adults for the upcoming batch this month.

Thank You for being the reason for many Dreams, Smiles, and Aspirations.  We look forward for a longlasting relationship with you.

Shankari, with her Confident Smile
Shankari, with her Confident Smile
Life Skill Facilitators at the training
Life Skill Facilitators at the training

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Organization Information

Dream A Dream

Location: Bangalore, Karnataka - India
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Vishal Talreja
Bangalore, Karnataka India